By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

Affliction has the ability to lift us out of our apathy.
Heartache wields potential in displaying our true hypocrisy.
Struggle employs us with stamina and walks us into greater intimacy.
These are powerful, proven realities at work in the midst of our pain.
Narrow harrowing passages of difficulty, trial, and stress that temporarily look to be our undoing become, in reality and God's time, the key conditioners and components of true conformity, forging and fostering depth and intimacy with the risen Savior.
Christ is a great mystery ...
The way He works,
The way He moves,
The way He loves.
This Easter season I am experiencing new realities incomparable to Easters of the past:
-Where once I sang "The Old Redemptive Story,"  today I'm learning how to live it.
-Where once I sang "There's Power in the Blood," today it's coursing through me.
-Where once I sang "I Love to Tell the Story," today my life's being punctuated by it.
The truth is ....
We are better at speaking about redemption than living it.
We are better at singing about our Savior than experiencing Him.
We are Christian karaoke artists.
And then something happens,
This thing called "affliction" enters in and we find ourselves permanently altered.
We begin to engage and activate the terms which once we talked about;
We begin to appropriate the promises we provided others with;
We come to terms with the terms we are just beginning to understand.
And finally,
Like a woman's final thrust in labor and the delivery of a child ...
The head of faith emerges,
The cry of life is heard,
 And together there is rejoicing in Redemption's room.
Easter has been born within the soul.
Christ lives.
Hard seasons pave the way to redemptive seasons waiting to be born.
Reflect on these profound passages as you enter into Easter.
"Before I was afflicted I went astray; but now have I kept Thy Word. Thou art good and Thou doest good; teach me Thy statutes."
Psalm 119:66-67
"It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn Thy statutes. The law of Thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver."
Psalm 119:71-72
And finally, beautifully, and powerfully:
"He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and we hid our faces from Him; He was despised and we esteemed Him not. Surely He hath born our griefs and carried our sorrows, yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed."
Isaiah 53:3-5